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SMEs look online to market themselves out of the COVID crisis

Date: May 27, 2020

Category: Industry news


According to a survey conducted by small-business community, Enterprise Nation, small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) are using the coronavirus crisis as an opportunity to hone their online and marketing skills.

With businesses now grouped into the binary categories of “essential” and “non-essential”, and footfall greatly diminished, companies that stand the best chance of survival are those with the agility to adapt to a new normal.

The overwhelming consensus is that this will require a quick and comprehensive shift to e-commerce.

Preparing for a new reality

Top skills to work on

marketing and social media

More than half of the companies surveyed by Enterprise Nation said that they would be concentrating on improving their marketing and PR as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, with two in five saying they aimed to diversity their offerings at the same time.

A third of the companies polled intended to refine their social media during the lockdown, taking an advantage of the increased screen time being spent by those stuck indoors for the majority of the day.

Before the lockdown, the average Briton would spend as much as 6.5 hours on laptops and mobile phones a week – anecdotal evidence suggests that stay-at-home orders have greatly exacerbated this in the past months.

Avoiding a future crisis

avoid future crisis

When asked how business owners intended to insulate themselves from future crises, almost two-thirds of respondents said that they were looking to introduce an online element to their offering, further endorsing the trend towards digital.

At GS1 UK, we have seen a steady flow in the number of companies joining our community at a time when the UK economy is at its lowest ebb since the financial crash of 2008.

This points to an increase in the number of businesses needing Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs) to sell their products on online marketplaces.

uk ecommerce market share

Enterprise Nation's survey of small businesses during covid-19

What you need to do before selling online